Trafford to be released from lockdown restrictions as government cancels local calls

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Lockdown restrictions in the Greater Manchester area will be lifted in Trafford next week – against the wishes of local leaders.Council chief Andrew Western confirmed this morning that the area will be freed from local lockdown restrictions that have been put in place to limit the spread of Covid-19.

He said while executives wanted “to see restrictions lifted as early as possible, data-driven and when it’s possible to do so safely,” they didn’t think next week was the right time, reports the Manchester Evening News.

The government, he said, ignored this view.

Local leaders said that with the return of schools next week, it was “a delicate time” to ease restrictions.

The infection rate at Trafford has increased slightly in recent days, he added. The district’s current infection rate of 21.1 cases per 100,000 is almost double the national average infection rate of 11.7, said Cllr Western.

The borough has “seen identified cases of Covid in each of its 21 electoral districts” at some point over the past two weeks, he added.



Trafford Town Hall – where leaders expressed concern over the lifting of security measures

He also pointed out that Trafford is “inextricably linked with other boroughs in Greater Manchester, with people visiting these areas on a daily basis to work and socialize”.

Cllr Western criticized ministers for “making fun of local decision-making”.

It is understood that the restrictions will be lifted next week. Earlier this week, restrictions were relaxed in Wigan.

The move means residents of Trafford will once again be able to meet other households inside and in their gardens, while maintaining social distancing.

People cannot meet different households that remain subject to stricter foreclosure measures in other parts of Greater Manchester.

Cllr Western said: “We were of the opinion – following expert advice from the council’s director of public health – that we should see evidence of a sustained reduction in the number of Trafford infections before calling for the lifting of local restrictions.

“This is not yet the case, the last few days showing again a slight increase in infection rates.

“We understand that some will see this as an overly cautious approach, but it was done with the safety of Trafford residents in mind. We think it’s slightly premature to lift household restrictions at this time. ”

He added: “It is evident that despite all their demands to work with local authorities, the government has decided to bypass the advice and lift the restrictions on Trafford.

“No one in government bothered to discuss it with the head of council or explained the reasoning behind this decision to anyone on the council, and we reiterate our support for the position defended by our director of the council. public health.

“This government action mocks allegations of local decision-making and shows once again that local government is being ignored despite being on the front lines of this crisis.

“It is incredibly disappointing and it is impossible not to think that it is a political decision following the changes in local decision-making processes announced last week which have given a key role to MPs.

“It was a recipe for disaster given that many of them themselves acknowledged that they lacked access to expert public health advice, and until then, the civic response to this crisis was far from close.

Residents and businesses recognized by Cllr Western will be “happy and relieved” to see the restrictions lifted.

He added: “We accept that this was a finely balanced question. We will be working over the next few days to safely lift the restrictions starting next week and the safety of our residents will remain our top priority.

“Please continue to follow all relevant public health guidelines: the virus has not gone away and we must work together to keep our communities safe in the weeks and months to come. “

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